faerie/faery/fairy : spelling in Australian English

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Mossa, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. Mossa Senior Member

    France French

    Context : In Australia, a kid sees a sign written "faeries" and says : "That's not how you spell 'fairies" !"

    Is "faery/faeries" not a spelling used in Australia or is it just a spelling not known to kids in general ?

    Thanks for your help
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2009
  2. Gutenberg

    Gutenberg Senior Member

    Province de Québec, Canada
    français international
    You will find your answer here:

    "A fairy (also fay, fey, faery, faerie; collectively, "fae", wee folk, good folk, people of peace, fair folk, and other euphemisms)..."

  3. Mossa Senior Member

    France French
    I'm sorry but it doesn't answer my question. I know the different spellings in English.

    My question was : is faery/faeries a spelling not used at all in Australia or is it a spelling less known (to kids for example) in English-speaking countries ?

  4. Gwan Senior Member

    Indre et Loire, France
    New Zealand, English
    I would say that 'faery' is little-used amongst people in general, and definitely wouldn't usually be recognised by kids.
  5. Mossa Senior Member

    France French
    Ok, thanks, that's exactly what I wanted to confirm.
    Any other thoughts ?
  6. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    English English
    I agree with Gwan.
  7. Ann O'Rack Senior Member

    UK English
    Some writers deliberately use one of the lesser-known spellings, I suppose to make their fairies seem a bit different from "ordinary" fairies.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2009
  8. cropje_jnr

    cropje_jnr Senior Member

    Canberra, Australia
    English - Australia
    As an Australian, I have only ever seen or used the spelling "fairy/fairies".
  9. Mossa Senior Member

    France French
    OK, thanks. It's interesting, but it doesn't mean that this word cannot be spelled "faery" in Australian English.
    It appears to me that the spelling "faery" might be only literary, maybe used only by a certain type of authors
  10. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    English English
    Like Anno in post #7, I only ever see faeries written by folks who want their readers to think that their fairies are somehow more 'special' than ordinary common-or-bottom-of-the-garden fairies:)
  11. ShadowKeys

    ShadowKeys New Member

    As I understand it, 'fairy' comes from Latin lore and 'faerie' comes from Gaelic lore. Fairies are pure, beautiful, playful spirits full of love (think fairies in Thumbelina or most cartoons). Faeries are mischievous tricksters and thieves (think Torchwood and Outlander). Over time, they've merged into one and become fairies with some faerie traits (think Tinkerbell). I hope this helps.
  12. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Welcome to the forum!

    A delightful but I fear rather fanciful tale:) Perhaps the supposed distinction has arisen from the developers of dungeons, dragons, wizards and other such video games/cartoons elaborating their backstories. Some support for your explanation would be of interest. The dictionaries have a more mundane story for us:

    faerie | Definition of faerie in US English by Oxford Dictionaries
    Fairy definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary
    The American Heritage Dictionary entry: faerie
  13. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    English - US
    To keep things as "English Only" as I can,
    sidhe | Origin and history of sidhe by Online Etymology Dictionary
  14. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    English English
    I'm afraid you've fallen for the propaganda of the Anti-Faery League, Shadowkeys;)

    (I persist in thinking that, in terms of 'literature', faeries are merely aerier-faerier fairies.)
  15. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    I think the Oxford comment above would be re-written today as "faux archaic variant of fairy":)
  16. RM1(SS)

    RM1(SS) Senior Member

    English - US (Midwest)
    I think this is the first time I've ever seen faery/faeries. I'm used to fairy/fairies to mean the people, and Faerie to mean their home.

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